There are a number of reasons why Derbyshire people should be looking forward to what 2018 will bring.
If you’re a music fan then there is plenty to whet the appetite – including the arrival of one of the biggest girl bands in the world, who are set to play Derby.
And if you had a ticket to see Peter Kay don’t despair – because this year Derby will welcome some huge stars of comedy.
These are just some of the things that should hopefully put us all in a positive frame of mind as we look to the year ahead.
Here, Robin Johnson sets out 18 highlights for 2018.
1. A ROYAL WEDDING – AND A ROYAL BABY
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle will be getting married in May (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
2018 is set to be a busy year for the Royals. Not only is there a wedding scheduled but there will also be a new addition.
Prince Harry is due to wed Meghan Markle on May 19, which just happens to be FA Cup Final day. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth to her third child this year.
Here in Derby, both events will be good news for one Derby company. Royal Crown Derby makes commemorative pieces for significant Royal occasions such as weddings, births and anniversaries. No doubt, the Osmaston Road factory are already working on their designs!
2. ONE OF THE BIGGEST GIRL BANDS IN THE WORLD TO PLAY DERBY
Little Mix are coming to Derby
X-Factor winners and global superstars Little Mix are set to play a show at Derby’s 3aaa Cricket Ground on July 19.
The concert is part of a UK tour by the prestigious girl band.
Little Mix are one of the biggest girl bands in the world. Derby is one of 15 dates they will play as part of the Summer Hits Tour.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s has previously hosted successful concerts by Elton John and Boyzone.
3. STELLAR LINE-UP FOR DOWNLOAD
Ozzy Osbourne will once again be rocking Download in 2018
This June, Donington Park will once again will be hosting the annual Download Festival.
A great line-up of bands has already been announced, including headliners Guns ‘n’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne and Avenged Sevenfold.
If you like your rock music heavy and loud then Donington will be the place to be from June 8 to 10.
4. COULD 2018 FINALLY BE DERBY COUNTY’S YEAR?
Could Gary Rowett be the man who finally takes Derby County into the promised land of the Premier League?
Ok, we’ve been saying this for the past few years now – but with Derby County well positioned in the Championship at this stage of the season you can’t help thinking that this time the Rams might get promotion to the Premier League.
But Derby fans will be all too aware that we’ve been in this position before and messed it up. Will manager Gary Rowett be the man to finally get Derby County over the line?
The bookies believe we have got a good chance but it’s probably best that we don’t count our chickens before they hatch.
That said, it might be worth noting that the Championship Play-Off Final is due to take place at Wembley on Saturday, May 26. Just saying!
5. A SUMMER OF FOOTBALL AS RUSSIA HOSTS WORLD CUP
Russia will be hosting this summer’s football World Cup (Image: Press Association)
If you’re a football fan then summers can feel like a rather long and drawn out affairs – unless that particular year ends in an even number.
That means that either the Euros or the World Cup will be on in the summer. For 2018 it will be the turn of the World Cup – and with the tournament taking place in Russia the games will be on TV at sensible times of the day.
England, of course, are the only home nation to have qualified – and Derby’s pubs will no doubt be packed out this summer as fans cheer on the Three Lions.
But to progress in the competition, which starts in mid-June, England will have to get past Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in the group stages. Easy. Mind you, this is England we’re talking about.
6. TAKING RETAIL THERAPY TO THE MAXX
TK Maxx is set to return to the city centre in 2018 with a new store in Albion Street
We love a bit of retail therapy in Derby and the good news is that in 2018 a number of new stores are set to open.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly awaited is the return to Derby city centre of TK Maxx.
The retail chain has now confirmed that it will be opening its Albion Street store on February 22 – which is ahead of schedule.
The new store will create up to 35 new jobs and will span 1,417 square metres over four floors.
The store development was caught up in controversy earlier this year when Albion Street flower stall trader Jonathan Foster said TK Maxx were forcing him off his 23-year-old patch.
However, in October, the retail giant said it expected Derby City Council to find a “suitable location” for the flower stall in the street and had no problem with him being there. Mr Foster has now moved his stall to the adjacent East Street.
7. BIG NAMES OF COMEDY ARE COMING
John Bishop is set to perform at Derby Arena as part of his Winging It tour.
We like a laugh here in Derby – and that probably explains why some of the big names in comedy will be coming to perform here in 2018.
John Bishop will be bringing his brand new show to the city on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18, as part of his Winging It tour.
Russell Brand will be bringing his Re:Birth tour to Derby on April 19 and the following night Ed Byrne will be in town with his Spoiler Alert show.
On Sunday, July 1, Sarah Millican will be performing in Derby while Jason Manford will bring his UK-wide stand-up tour Muddle Class to the city on Saturday, November 24.
All of these gigs will be taking place at Derby Arena. Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
People come from all over the country to attend Derby’s beer festivals
As the UK capital for real ale, Derby’s beer festivals attract beer lovers from across the country and beyond.
Over the years, thousands have attended these events, organised by the Derby Campaign for Real Ale – and 2018 is set to be no different.
The 14th Derby Winter Beer Festival will take place from February 21 to 24 at the Roundhouse. Meanwhile, details for the 41st Derby City Charter Summer Beer Festival are in the process of being finalised.
However, if rum is more your tipple, get yourself to the 3aaa County Ground on Saturday, June 16, for The Rum Festival, which will showcase over 100 different rums from around the globe.
9. ARE YOU IN TRAINING FOR THE DERBY 10K?
Runners at the start of the Derby 10k
After gorging ourselves over Christmas, some people will be looking to turn over a new leaf in 2018 by starting a fitness regime.
For some, the target will be to compete in and, more to the point, complete the Sporting Futures Derby 10k.
In 2018, the event will be taking place at Markeaton Park on Sunday, April 15.
As well as being great fun, the Derby 10k is a key fundraiser for Sporting Futures, raising money for the charity’s work supporting young people in Derbyshire to reach a better future.
Alternatively, there is the Derby Resolution Run, which takes place at Markeaton Park on Sunday, March 4. Choose from 5k or 10k. Funds will go to the Stroke Association.
10. THE DARLEY PARK CONCERT WILL RETURN AGAIN
Fireworks at the Darley Park Concert (Image: Ian Hodgkinson / Picture It)
In 2017, the Darley Park Concert made a welcome return to Derby’s cultural calendar after being axed the previous year as part of efforts by the city council to cut costs.
The concert, which usually attracts up to 40,000 people, will once again be staged in 2018. Taking place in Darley Park, the event will be on Sunday, September 2. Admission will be £7.50 – or just £2.50 if you book in advance.
Those who attend are promised an evening of classical music and spectacular fireworks.
11. MORE WAYS TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL AT OUR LOCAL AIRPORT
East Midlands Airport will be offering even more choice when it comes to flights in 2018
With the cold, dark nights at this time of year, thoughts are turning to where we will be going on holiday this summer.
For those of us who would like to go somewhere different for a change, East Midlands Airport is offering a wide choice of routes for the summer months.
For example, Jet2 will be flying to 32 destinations with increased frequency and capacity on certain routes, including Costa de Almeria Dalaman, Corfu and Zante, Split, Verona and Dubrovnik.
12. MADE IN DERBY PLAQUES TO BE REVEALED
Who will be on Derby’s very own ‘walk of fame’?
2018 will be the year when Derby honours its most inspiring sons and daughters on a new “walk of fame”.
The Made in Derby project will see eight plaques inset into Derby’s streets in the spring.
Ahead of this, we have been asking Derby Telegraph readers for suggestions on who should make the final eight – and have received over 200 names.
A panel, made up of representatives from Derby’s business and civic communities, will make the final selection.
The idea for the walk of fame came from discussions between the Derby Telegraph, Derby City Council and local business leaders. The £70,000 cost is being entirely paid for by a grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership, D2N2.
The initial eight plaques, made of cast metal and stone, will each have a feature allowing smart-phone users to learn more about the individuals and their achievements. They will be installed along Albion Street and Exchange Street.
13. M1 ROADWORKS SET TO FINISH
Traffic jams on the M1 have become a regular occurrence (Image: Highways England)
For some of us who regularly use the M1, the roadworks near Derby are proving the bane of our lives.
At present, Highways England is carrying out a £120 million scheme to improve seven-and-a-half miles of motorway by providing an extra lane in each direction.
It involves converting the hard shoulder into a permanent fourth lane north of Kegworth and the installation of new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs on gantries to reduce traffic speeds and manage traffic flow.
Speed limits have been reduced to 50mph as a result of the work with drivers being regularly caught out speeding. Not only that, accidents and breakdowns have resulted in lengthy snarl ups.
However, Highways England has said that we should be put out of our misery by “winter 2018” when the work is scheduled to be completed.
14. LOCAL ELECTIONS
We will be going to the polls on May 3 for the local elections
Not another election? Yes, we’ve had quite a few in recent years – but in 2018 we will go to the polls for the local elections.
Scheduled to take place on May 3, the Derby public will be given its chance to have their say on the future direction of the city.
Are you happy with the current administration at Derby City Council – or do you want to see a change? Whatever your political persuasion, make sure you vote!
15. DERBY’S BUS STATION TO BE EXTENDED?
Derby Bus Station is set to undergo a 9-bay expansion
There are hopes that 2018 could be the year when Derby’s bus station is finally extended.
Derby City Council has now secured the finance to extend the station, which some claim often becomes gridlocked, with buses struggling to arrive, park and leave.
The problems stem from the growing popularity of bus services, with the number of journeys increasing to more than half a million a year.
It is hoped that a planning application to extend the bus station will now be submitted in early 2018. If approved, it will create additional waiting areas and nine extra bays.
16. MERCIA MARINA’S MULTI-MILLION POUND PIAZZA TO OPEN
A string of tenants will move into Mercia Marina’s new £3m Piazza development once work is complete
Over the years, Mercia Marina, near Willington, has become an extremely popular place to visit, whether it is for a walk with the family, a bite to eat or a mooch around the shops.
In 2018, visitors will have even more choice when the £3 million Piazza development opens.
The four-storey building is currently being built on the peninsula next to the marina’s Boardwalk shopping, leisure and office complex.
Bosses at Mercia Marina are aiming to have it open by early 2018. Meanwhile, they are busy signing up tenants for the building.
One of those is set to be an Indian tapas bar – a concept which has proved popular in London and Edinburgh – which will be on the ground floor.
17. MORE CITY CENTRE HOMES ON THE WAY
An artist’s impression of how the new homes that make up the second phase of Castleward might look
In recent years, a number of residential projects have been completed in Derby city centre – and that looks set to continue in 2018.
Compendium Living, the company behind the £100 million regeneration of Castleward, are set to embark on phase two of the project after completing the 164 homes that made up phase one.
Meanwhile, expect more new developments to start appearing on Agard Street where work is currently taking place on a new student block next to the “copper building”, which should be completed in 2018.
There are also a number of other new developments with planning permission dotted around the rest of the city, giving home-buyers more choice when it comes to where they want to live.
18. A BUSY YEAR FOR OUR MANUFACTURING GIANTS
Bombardier workers have recently celebrated a glut of contract wins – but the Derby site has room for more
After winning a glut of orders in 2017, Derby train-maker Bombardier is set to be busy in 2018, building and delivering hundreds of new carriages.
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But the Litchurch Lane firm will not be resting on its laurels as it guns for even more new work to add to its swelling order book.
And Rolls-Royce will be cracking on fulfilling engine orders while at the same time continuing with its multi-million pound revamp of the Sinfin site. It has recently secured permission for a £90 million new test bed at the site – and work on that should be starting in 2018.
Meanwhile, work to realign the road network at its site to make may for a new “aerospace campus” is expected to progress.
Source: Derby Telegraph